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Curious About Warm Weather And Spring Flooding

By Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV
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Last year, heavy rains flooded several Bay State towns like Billerica and Fall River (above). (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Last year, heavy rains flooded several Bay State towns like Billerica and Fall River (above). (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Many of us maybe looking forward to the warmer temperatures, but there is a concern that too much warmth too fast may cause the return of spring river flooding.

Record January snowfall has the region covered and weighted down. Near-record snow depth in spots is comparable to the snow cover in February 1978.

Ellen from Tewksbury Declared her Curiosity, asking “With all this snow we have had this winter, will we be having trouble with flooding come next spring?

This heavy snow has caused numerous roof collapses, but that is not our only problem. Our snow pack currently has an estimated 6-8″ of water in it. The combination of heavy rain and warmth could be just what it takes to release all this water into the streams and rivers.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Joyce reports.

“All the precipitation is currently locked up in the snow and the rivers are running at normal levels for now,” said Gardner Bent, a hydrologist.

Bent is a hydrologist for the US Geological survey. He monitors river stream flow in 100 stations across the state

Read: Tips to protect your home in case of flooding

“If we get a rainstorm of a few inches we get minor flooding. But with 4-10″ already in the snow, any kind of rain would lead to moderate to high flooding problems,” said Bent.

A dry stretch with temperatures in the 40′s are the perfect conditions for a gradual melt. That appears to be likely heading into next week.

Still, emergency officials are cautious and starting to make preparations for the possibility of more spring river flooding.

Bent says those who have suffered river flooding in the past are the most vulnerable to more river flooding in the near future. Though, there is no immediate flood threat. He says there is elevated risk this season because of the heavy snow.

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